Monday, January 13, 2014

Good Samaritans come to aid of young girl after fall into septic tank

A three year-old girl is lucky to be alive after falling into a septic tank while attending a swap meet Saturday.

The incident happened at the Farmer's Market on Papago Road.  The girl was walking with her mother when she stepped on a round plastic lid that was covering the tank's opening.  Apparently the lid was not seated right and flipped over, allowing the girl to fall into the raw sewage.

The mother screamed, drawing the attention of several people nearby.  One of them, 28 year-old Henry Ricketts (pictured below, right), dove into the tank, head-first.  Ricketts was unable to locate the girl on the first try, due to the murky water.  Two other men then held Ricketts' ankles while he searched again and was finally able to locate the child and pull her to safety.

A female nurse, who was on-scene, administered CPR and was able to get the girl breathing again.

When Maricopa Fire Department paramedics arrived, the child was responsive.  She was transported via ground ambulance to Cardon Children's Hospital in Mesa where she is currently recovering.

There were no rescuers treated for any injuries, although Ricketts had some large, superficial, scratches on his back that were probably the result of his contact with a pipe in the tank.

(Photos: Howard Waggner/Maricopa Community News)

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